tv Dateline NBC NBC January 17, 2016 7:00pm-8:00pm EST
there's a time when you have shed every tear you can shed and go home at night completely exhausted, physically, emotionally. we hit that point. >> it's going to change everything about our life. everything. >> they're young parents, fighting an enemy within. >> your emotions are on a roller coaster. >> a frightening condition that threatens the lives of all five
>> that connects to my heart. >> it's possible each one may need a new heart just to survive. >> you get that feeling like it's never going to end. >> it's pretty hard. >> tonight, the latest in their battle. breakthroughs, setbacks. >> just got to prepare myself that things could change. >> all fueled by fate, love, humor and amazing grace. >> i never felt why us. >> what will it take to save a life? >> it's time to start thinking about transplant. >> you won't believe their story. >> guess what. you have a heart! [ screaming ] >> you won't forget their courage. join them "where the heart is." >> welcome to "dateline," everyone. i'm lester holt. imagine, five children in the same family, all with signs of a deadly heart disease.
for years now. and, as you watch, put yourself in their parents' shoes. could you be as brave as they are? here is keith morrison. >> when jason bingham thinks of home, what he sees in his mind's eye, it's as much a part of him as breathing, as his own heart. >> it's god's country. you can't see any neighbors as far as you can see. >> faithful horse, good dog and sturdy truck is about all he needed out here. until he met her. what happened when jason met stacy was -- well, love, brand
but for them, way out here in god country, it truly was. haines is a dot, a speck in a grand sweeping landscape near the oregon/idaho border. jason bingham worked at his father's accounting business. stacy was an obstetrics nurse at a nearby hospital. this was the home the binghams loved and where they imagined they would raise their kids and live for the rest of their lives. >> hi! >> hi! easter morning. we're really late for church. >> it takes each one of them to make us a family. you have sierra, compassionate and loving, megan, who is confident and athletic and lindsay has been our little jabber jaws. she makes sure everyone stays in line and then hunter, who is just a happy-go-lucky 5-year-old. >> oh, yeah. >> full of energy.
kind of the family clown. >> we love it. the life of the party. >> but parties don't last forever because the bingham family was about to become a terrifying medical mystery, one of the strangest, most off-the-chart, unlikely story we ever heard of. it began in 2006 when sierra, their eldest, threw up for several days. her parents took her to the doctor. >> the doctor came in and said we have one of three things, it could be pneumonia, form of cancer or something called cardiomyopathy. >> they gave her a cardio cardioechogram. the diagnosis was obvious, heart failure. what happens when you hear that? >> oh. >> first you're in a misty fog. your world came crushing in around you.
around it. grasp it. it's just fear. >> the doctors put sierra on some heavy medication and sent her home. >> i remember asking her to come help plant some flowers that would be coming back every year so if something did happen i would have some kind of memory of her but she was too tired or too weak to do it. >> sierra was fading fast. nothing more the regional hospitals near home could do. so, she was flown to lucille packard children's hospital in the heart of the silicon valley, a world away from oregon's eastern prairie. but even here, there were no easy answers. and the doctors gave jason and stacy the news. without an almost immediate heart transplant, their daughter would die. >> it was horrible. when we say it was a nightmare, it was the worst time of our life. bar none, it was the worst three weeks of my life. >> the wait for a donor heart
it was time sierra didn't have. >> to say there's a time when you've shed every tear you can shed and go home at night completely exhausted, physically, emotionally. we had hit that point. >> we told as many people as we could, please pray for our little child tonight. 1:30 in the morning, we get a phone call. and i thought, that's it. >> i thought it was the worst. and the doctors called and they said, we have a heart available for sierra. and i was like, are you serious? >> the binghams' prayers were answered. the next afternoon, sierra received her new heart. it had belonged to a 4-year-old boy. in the world of heart transplants, size matters more than age. sierra's new heart would grow as she did. >> when it came, it just -- we knew everything was going to be
there was just never, ever any doubt. >> but the binghams wondered why, why did sierra's own heart fail? did they need to worry about their other kids? the doctors assured them the likelihood was extremely remote. but just to be sure, they tested them and echocardiograms detected no hint of the disease and there was no history of heart disease at all on either jason or stacy's side of the family. >> so we thought, good. they'll rule that out. that's not an issue then. >> and then came lindsay's tummy ache. it was 2012, six years after sierra's transplant. lindsay, the third eldest, vomited at school. >> we thought, well, it could not be the same. i think both of us were probably in denial. >> they took lindsay to the e.r. in nearby baker city where the doctor examined her and then
sierra. >> cardiomyopathy? and he said yeah she's got the same thing. >> she has an enlarged heart? >> yeah. i lost it. i think my composure and i remember just sobbing. >> lindsay grew so sick so quickly that the very next day, she was flown to lucille packard children's hospital, the same place they brought sierra for her heart transplant six years earlier. now it was impossible not to think there was some genetic link involving their daughter's heart disease. so, jason brought the rest of tests. >> is it going to hurt? >> it was on june 8th. it was a friday. it was our d-day, i think. we sat down and were told that of our five children, all of them either had cardiomyopathy they watch that can turn into a cardiomyopathy.
astonished as they were. even though the electrocardiograms years earlier looked normal now the bingham children, every single one, would be dealing with the distinct possibility of having a heart transplant just to stay alive. that's when we first met the binghams. at least in part to make people aware of the desperate need for donors, they agreed to trust us, to allow our cameras to follow them through moments of despair and courage and bottomless love. >> we'll be right here. >> right here. >> the journey unlike everything you've seen before. coming up, danger strikes the very youngest. 3-year-old gage. >> they said he's in complete heart block. we need to admit him. >> and little lindsay? >> it goes up into here and it goes -- connects to my heart. >> is there hope and a heart for her? >> someone out there has a child
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cuando los high-tech pump until a heart became available. >> so it's just like a heart transplant only i won't be getting a heart? >> the surgery was successful, buying lindsay critical time. although she was recovering in icu, her parents, who had been through so much, experienced another setback. it was gage this time. >> something weird about him. he wasn't acting right. >> they took him to the emergency room. >> they said he's in complete heart block. we need to admit him. >> doctors were checking him more than they were lindsay that night. >> i can't imagine what that would do to you. >> unbelievable. >> now gage, just 3 years old, was rushed into surgery to have a pacemaker implanted. by the end of that awful day, the binghams had two children in
resilient. within two weeks, gage, with his new pacemaker, was up and about. and lindsay, who had been near death, was proudly showing off her clever, mechanical heart. >> it goes up into here and it goes -- connects to my heart. and this pumps in the air and this machine helps me. and if it got turned off, they would hook me up to a little thing-a-majigy. >> and what do we do now? >> wait for a heart. >> an upbeat kid but naturally one who is still afraid. >> nisty little heart. what does that feel like? >> when i stand up, you can feel it pumping. >> like you feel your heartbeating but it's on the
>> this is kind of scary. >> it allows her to feel healthy enough that she's a regular 8-year-old girl. she wants to skip and jump and play. it's a false sense of security because you forget she is still on a heart device that is keeping her heart pumping. >> the rest of the family moved into ronald mcdonald house across the street from the hospital. two bedrooms for all of them. and lindsay's siblings enrolled in city school, a world away from anything they had ever known before. >> my class and grade was 28 kids. now my grade is 200 kids. >> sierra had been where lindsay is now. and in daily visits to the hospital, offered advice about the endless needles and biopsies and the daily terrors of her new life. >> i was really scared so i asked sierra what it was really like to have a heart.
>> she told me it was kind of scary at first, but then you're fine. >> her siblings worked to build her up. and as jason and stacy waited, mired in their inherently bad luck, a remarkable lightness seemed to carry them through their long draining days, their sleepless nights. they did not complain. they remained upbeat for the kids. and taught them the meaning of gratitude for what they have been given. do they understand where the hearts come from? >> yes, they do. >> donor and patient information is kept strictly confidential, but messages between the families can be exchanged anonymously through the donor network. so, shortly after sierra's transplant, the binghams sent a thank you letter to the donor family. they received a letter back from the grandmother of the 4-year-old boy, whose heart now beat in sierra's chest.
mother and his grandmother, that wrote the letter. and the sacrifices she made to allow sierra to live. >> just as you'll be eternally grateful to some other family? >> yeah. right now, i pray for that family out there, someone out there in the western united states has a child that's going to save our life. >> there was, of course, no way to know if or when there would be a heart for lindsay. jason and stacy were keenly aware that some 50 children die each year, waiting for a heart. and here, as they waited, two months passed and then three. seasons changed. jason's beard grew longer. back in little hains, oregon, people understood this cost money, lots of money. the binghams have insurance. but it doesn't cover the very expensive multiple medications
the rest of their lives. tens of thousands of dollars a year. and so the people of hains put on an auction. they raised nearly $75,000. occasionally, jason went home to lend a hand on the family cattle drive or pick up clothes for the kids, who were now outgrowing them. >> it's a lonely place, to be here. i don't know how we're going to continue to live here. we want to live here so bad. >> but, of course, they couldn't go home. >>m, today is labor day. we thought we would give lindsay the chance of labor. >> they celebrated halloween in the hospital, followed by thanksgiving, then christmas. jason and stacy brought an artificial tree into lindsay's room. she put on the finishing touch. her beads of courage. each bead representing a needle poke, a day in the hospital or
the string wrapped around the tree three times. but christmas came and went and then valentine's day approached. they had been waiting nearly eight months now. >> what are you looking forward to? >> get a new heart. >> yeah. and then? >> go home. >> at 6:00 pm on february 12th, a doctor pulled stacy out of lindsay's room for a chat. something to tell her. she refused to tell the kids what she was told. >> mom. >> she thinks she knows. she doesn't know anything. >> i know! >> then, stacy called jason and waited in lindsay's room for him to arrive. he passed the nursing station, alive with excitement. >> she doesn't know yet. >> guess what. >> i knew it! >> are you ready? >> guess what? you've got to guess. >> what?
there. >> i have it? >> you have a heart! >> you do! [ screaming ] >> it's going to happen. it's finally going to happen. >> what was coming next was -- who could predict such a thing? who could predict such a thing? 3 f2 asi . lindsay's big send-off to surgery. >> this is where i get the biggest hug in the world. okay? >> but wait. sierra? >> like someone hit me in the gut. >> medical roller coaster takes another dip when "dateline" continues. continues. r seven. i am the butler. these dogs shed like crazy. it's like being inside of a snow globe. it takes an awful lot of
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this has to be a dream. this has to be a dream! i'm like, wake up, lindsay. wake up! but it's not. >> 8-year-old lindsay bingham has been waiting for a new heart for 239 days. but now, finally, they have found a match. the doctors scheduled thursday the next afternoon. >> i'm just scared a little. really scared. they're going to be cutting up my chest and then taking out my heart and then putting another one in. >> the swirl of conflicting emotions, even more so for lindsay's parents. stacy has news she had been dreading to share with jason.
routine checkup earlier in the day. >> sierra is downstairs. she's actually -- >> how is she doing? >> she's actually going to be admitted to the cbicu. >> cardiovascular intensive care unit. sudden change in jason's demeanor tells you just how grave was the news. >> i don't know what the deal is. what's going on? >> they just said that her pressures are really high and so they wanted to admit her. they don't know if it's rejection or something else. >> we have a daughter going in for a transplant in two hours and a daughter that's been admitted into the icu. i can't tell you how much i need that woman right there. >> jason and stacy try to put a positive spin on the news when they tell sierra.
unit so when they get your is it rejection or is it something else? >> great day. >> great day. lindsay's going in for a transplant and you're in the best place you can be right now. >> and they caught it. >> one day we're going to look back at this and just laugh our heads off. >> but the binghams know exactly how serious rejection can be. if treatment doesn't work, it could mean sierra will go back on the transplant list. >> i'm sick to my stomach, to be honest. it's like someone hit me in the gut. transplant doesn't mean it's over. it's just the beginning. >> in turmoil, pulled in two different directions on this day. jason returns to lindsay's room where he and one of lindsay's nurses try to keep her upbeat before surgery. lindsay learns she'll get her new heart in the first hours of valentine's day. >> valentine's day! >> yay!
they learned about the donor heart, it's time to go. >> crank it all the way up. you earned this one. >> lindsay chooses her own sound track for her walk to the operating room. "somebody to love." >> got chills right now. seeing her perk up is everything i needed. put this thing around you, like you mean it. >> with her baby blanket transformed into a superhero cape, she's ready to face the scariest event of her young life. jason works to keep lindsay's fears at bay. >> this is where i get the biggest hug in the world. okay? i'll see you in just a few minutes, all right? >> all right. >> what happens in a few minutes? >> wake up. >> you just go to sleep and then you wake right up. >> and very soon i'll get better. >> yep. love you, lindsay lou. >> bye, lindsay!
be made available for the next child in line. so, jason and stacy pack everything up while they wait for the donor heart to arrive. >> they're going to be here in 15 minutes. >> hi. you have the heart? >> yeah. >> her chest is open right now. so, she's a go. >> jason and stacy aren't prepared for the emotions they feel as they see the donor heart arrive. >> it really sunk in when you saw that cooler with a human heart on it. you see that nurse head down the hallway to my little princess, who is opened up and ready and waiting for it. >> it's a strange emotion for observers, too, to watch life captured in this small container, passed from one child to another. even as a third heart struggles, just down the hall.
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>> lindsay lou bingham is in an operating room where surgeons are replacing her failing heart while her parents receive updates through the night and into the morning. >> things are looking good. >> this doctor, though, after reporting in about lindsay, switches the conversation to sierra. >> so i would like to regroup with the whole team and talk over things and see if we can come up with a more effective long-term strategy for her. >> i just need to hear you say we have opgs. >> there are options to look into. >> this conversation, mind you, is taking place while lindsay is still in surgery, while doctors stitch together five separate connections, they begin with the new heart outside lindsay's body, then finish up once it's slipped inside. the heart has not beaten since it was taken from the donor nearly four hours earlier. the next step is crucial. the team will use a defibrillator to spark lindsay's new heart back to life. >> 10.
pump. and soon finds its rhythm. >> it took a couple of hours longer than i expected, but everything went very, very smoothly. >> but the binghams now have two daughters in the cardiovascular icu. sierra's biopsy results show antibodies are attacking her heart and already have caused some damage. doctors tell the binghams they'll try a treatment called plasma phoresis in which they attempt to remove the harmful antibodies from her blood. it sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. there's a chance that, to survive, sierra will one day need a second heart transplant. >> the reality of it is it's never going to be the same. something. and now that always something is going to be times two, you know. it was really hard. you just felt like your emotions are on a roller coaster and you want to be happy f the one, but you're feeling so bad and
>> and, of course, there's little gage, who has the same heart disease and already a pacemaker at age 4. jason and stacy do their own form of triage, focusing on the sickest child. for now, that's lindsay. >> we're all here now. megan's here. so is gage. >> days after a heart trans plant are, of course, critical. and lindsay's first few bring complications. but soon she is up and walking without an artificial heart pump for the first time in eight months and jason keeps a promise by letting lindsay cut off the straggly beard he started growing the day she was placed on the transplant list. >> do it. >> lindsay, lindsay, lindsay! >> whoo! >> there you go. >> two weeks after getting her new heart, lindsay is ready to leave the hospital. >> are you ready to go?
>> she's out of here. >> good luck. >> she isn't going far, mind you. just down the street to ronald mcdonald house until both lindsay and sierra are cleared for the trip they so desperately want. the one back home. but first, another biopsy, to see if sierra's treatment stopped or at least slowed the rejection. cardiologist daniel bernstein will make the call. >> i think things are going well, go home, enjoy being in your home and see how things go the next couple of years. if things quiet down, no problems, then you're fine where you are. >> okay. >> words the binghams wondered if they would ever hear again. in spite of all they've been through, they are grateful. >> we've walked away twice now with two children still alive, and that's more than some parents can say that have to leave here. and we can go home with five
>> it was an almost surreal celebration that day in 2013, as if their troubles had been forced to retreat outside their own little bubble of happy. there was a long drive home to hains, oregon. the big surprise welcome from just about the whole town. >> how are you? good to see you. >> sierra, overjoyed to see her own bed. and lindsay, the trampoline. just a regular kid again. >> so, are you letting yourself feel like, we're home or do we go there? >> we have a new norm now. to think it's over now is just the beginning. >> the family, though, was finally back on the ranch and the binghams settled gratefully into their new normal. the life jason and stacy knew would be no more permanent than
coming up, a setback for sierra. >> it's time to start thinking about transplant number two. >> oh, my goodness. you get that feeling it's never going to end. >> she meets her second family. her heart donor family. >> tell us about nicholas. >> when "dateline" continues. >> when "dateline" continues. big news! the new sprint lte plus network is faster than verizon and at&t. to celebrate, we're gonna cut some prices in half. switch to sprint and save 50% on verizon, at&t, or t-mobile rates. so start the new year off right and switch today.
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the binghams have settled into their new normal, a life packed with the controlled chaos of raising five children, two of whom have transplanted hearts and a third who has a pacemaker. two years have gone by. years during which they've managed to stay here in rural oregon, far from the hospital, in the home they love so much. lindsay is now off the anti-rejection steroid that caused her face to swell and has a fresh set of braces on her teeth. sierra is in high school, learning to drive. they make the trek to palo alto every few months for checks and biopsies which lindsay actually looks forward to. stacy is the girls' most loyal cheerleader. but on this trip to the hospital, january 2015, she is
>> i have a lot of anxiety over this one. is it just going to be simple or is it going to be something we're not prepared for? that's the reality of it. >> sierra has had some swelling and a cough that won't go away. >> all those tubes filled up? that is a lot. >> the girls go in for their biopsies. the procedure that once frightened lindsay has become old hat. >> at least i'm not crying. >> your pressures are good. >> here you go, honey. >> lindsay's transplanted heart is working beautifully. no sign of rejection. but what about sierra's? >> after this, baby girl, there will be a little bit of pushing, okay? >> she has been fighting rejection for several years now. >> the real question, to be perfectly honest, i don't mean to jump on you, is whether or not it's time to think about transplant number two. >> stacy's gut feeling was right.
dr. seth hollander explains, they've run out of options to fight the antibodies that are attacking her heart. >> your pressure is up again. did they tell you? >> yes. >> how many kids, how many times? you get that feeling of impending doom like it's never going to end. it's just on repeat. >> yeah. >> transplanted hearts, for reasons we don't fully understand, don't last forever. if you're an older prn er er person who is getting a transplant you may be able to live out the natural duration of your life before your transplanted heart gives out. we didn't transplant sierra at age of 7 to get her to tenth grade. we want to give her a nice, long life. >> so, sierra goes back on the transplant waiting list. the wait could be much longer this time, as much as two years. because of her condition an artificial heart pump is not an option. as difficult as the news is to
stacy finds a bright side. >> we are grateful for the breaks we get. i guess it's go home and get that breath of fresh air before the next thing hits. >> a month later, the binghams are back at the hospital to learn more about what's next for sierra. they bring gage along for a pace maker adjustment. >> ready for mr. turtle? >> at the age of 6, he has had a pacemaker for three years now. sierra was about gage's age when she had her first heart transplant. now that she's 15, she has a say in her own health care. even can say no, if she decides she doesn't want a second transplant. she has asked her parents not to keep any secrets from her about what's ahead. no matter how scary. and scary, it certainly is. >> in the middle of the night, keep checking to make sure she has a pulse because she's going to die in the middle of the night. i get scared to death that she won't be there in the morning. >> in fact, sierra's condition
she and stacy are back in palo alto, to wait close to the hospital for a donor heart. trying to keep life as normal as possible, under this family's extraordinary circumstances. sierra attends prom at the hospital, with another patient. and then, out of the blue, the binghams receive an e-mail from the grandmother of sierra's first donor. a woman who saw our first report on the binghams back in 2013 and had a feeling that it was her grandson's heart that saved sierra. and when she looked up the bingham binghams' blog, she knew she was right. his name was nicholas. now she has learned that nicholas' heart, beating in sierra's chest, is failing. and she and her family, including nicholas' brother and sister, want to meet sierra. they meet in a park not far from the hospital. >> this is sierra.
>> how are you? >> sierra brings a stethoscope so they can listen to nicholas' heart one last time. stacy tells the family sierra's first reaction when she learned she would need a new heart was guilt that she couldn't keep nicholas' heart alive longer. >> it's just something that happens and we don't know why. but i do want you to know that we do value that heart in the nine years she has had it. >> tell us about nicholas. >> well -- >> the binghams had assumed nicholas died in an accident. but now they learned the horrifying truth. nicholas was murdered by his drug-addicted stepfather. his organs went to sierra and two other children. >> it's been easier on us,
three others, three people. not just sierra. and so that's helped us a lot. >> funny face. >> they take pictures together, this unlikely blended family. and then, just three weeks later, just like that, the wait is over. a donor heart is available. much sooner than anyone expected. before she goes in for her second transplant, a reminder that, in spite of her medical condition, sierra is a regular teenager. a surprise visit from an admirer. >> we've seen this hall before, haven't we, dear? >> minutes later, more good-byes outside the or doors they've been to before and will be again. >> love you, too, gage. >> for jason and stacy, another long night of waiting and worrying. coming up, the operating room door revolves again.
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sierra bingham about undergo a transplant. heart more rapidly anyoneexpected. >> i was really getting it's heart wrenching to see kid plummet and then how close are be before surgeons remove3 f2 ahora los cirujanos remueven el 3 f2 ahora los cirujanos remueven el it's the middle of the night. it's the middle of jason and stacy have been waiting for news. acy have been waiting for news. >> it's a long night. >> it's a long night >> yeah. . >> yeah. >> good. >> good. so, have a seat. so, have a seat. everything went well, very smoothly. , very smoothly. >> a healthy heart is beating in sierra's chest. is beating in sierra's chest. she has been given a fresh start she has been given a fresh start for a second time in her young a second time in her young
life. her recovery goes unbelievably smoothly. recovery goes unbelievably smoothly. >> cvicu, we're out of here. >> c we're headed home, baby. we're headed home, baby. >> sierra is released from the hospital in record time.d from the hospital after just eight days. she's already thinking about iy thinking about what she will do with this next chapter. at she will do with this next chapter. >> just doing the little simple >> just doing the little simple things in life, like going to things in life, like going to the beach, hanging out with friends.the beach, hanging out with friends. going to church and stuff. >> she and stacy plan to spend auff. >> she and stacy plan to spend a brief stint at the nearby ronald brief stint at the nearby ronald mcdonald house and then surprise the rest of the family by returning home a week earlier mily by returning home a than expected. w w than expected. but another shoe was about to drop. but another shoe was about to drop. a doctor has asked to speak to as a jason and stacy. sk jason and stacy. >> your heart just sinks a >> your heart just sinks a little bit like, why? little bit like, why? it's not to invite us to a barbecue. it's not to invite us to a barbecue. >> in checking gage's pacemaker, >> in checking gage's pacemaker, doctors have discovered gage has doctors have discovered gage has had two episodes in the night had two episodes in the night where his heart flutters rather where his heart flutters rather than beats. than beats. either one of them could have been fatal.
his heart failure is worsening. in addition to the pacemaker he in addition to the pacemaker he already has, he will need to has, he will need to have a defibrillator implanted to shock his heart back into or to shock his heart back into rhythm if it flutters again. rhythm if it flutters again. but jason is worried that g a. but jason is worried that g a. ge is headed to the transplant list. is headed to the transplant list. >> we've seen what happens and ns and maybe we know too much. >> yeah. ch. >> yeah. >> i'm not ready -- i'm ready to go home a little bit and not ready to go home a little bit and not stay here for another year or two.o.stay here for another year or two. as good as he's doing, i just as good as he's doing, i just have to prepare myself that have to prepare myself that things could change. >> jason and stacy have had no >> jason and stacy have had no time to recover from sierra's transplant, no time to recharge transplant, no time to recharge before this next crisis. before this next crisis. they are emotionally exhausted. they are emotionally exhausted. >> surgeons have warned jason >> surgeons have warned jason and stacy that there's a chance and stacy that there's a chance gage could come out of surgery gage could come out of surgery on an artificial heart pump
similar to the one lindsay was on. similar to the one lindsay was it would mean he could not leave mean he could not leave the hospital until a donor heart the hospital u could be found. nt could be found. >> to think that he walked in >> to think that he walked in here, a happy little kid, with here, a happy little kid, with his little bear and to might come out or we could get the call any second now that they had to put him on a heart device device device, it's pretty hard. device, it's pretty hard. >> but gage's surgery goes well. >> but gage's surgery goes well. no artificial heart pump necessary.no artificial heart pump necessary. and, finally, they get to go home. and, finally, they get to go home. the hardware inside gag's tiny the hardware inside gag's tiny chest regulates the beat of his heart.est regulates the beat of his it can't stop the progression ofofe progression of his heart disease, which is happening much faster than much faster than anyone anticipated.
a que no cuando but tired after throwing up, he knew it was time. >> he sa id you're right one time. i said right about what? >> he said i do need a heart. it's time. i think in his way, he was accepting the reality of it. it's heartwrenching. >> just three months after his last surgery, gage is back at the hospital to have an artificial heart pump implanted in his tiny chest. he is asked if it's okay for doctors to remove a small piece of his heart so they can study what's causing his and his siblings' heart disease. and then it's yet another good-bye outside the o.r. a place the binghams know all too well. >> you be brave, okay? you're a brave boy. >> gage's teddy bear, woody, goes in with him. surgery goes smoothly. and soon, gage is back on his feet. the equipment that's keeping him alive is far more portable than
he can carry it on his back. and, once again, all the binghams are back in palo alto, where they'll wait together for gage to get his new heart. in the meantime, he has a lot of questions. >> what does it feel like to have a brand new heart? >> you'll feel so much better. you have seen how sierra and lindsay are. how they are right now. that's how you'll feel. >> gage's will be the fourth transplant for this young family. their eighth open heart surgery. we have wondered so many times in the years we've followed them, how do they keep going? >> you have a heart! >> you do! [ screaming ] >> aren't they resentful? don't they feel sorry for themselves? many would ask, why us. but the binghams, not for a moment.